So I’m going into my 7th month of CrossFit! How has this transformed my life? Well let me tell you. I have learned that fitness is valuable not only for myself and the way I look and feel, but to my job, my family, friends and community. I used to be a giver upper and a maybe somedayer….. CrossFit has helped me stay accountable for my choices and helped transformed me in every aspect of my life into a “Hell ya I can at least give that a shot!” It’s improved my stamina, my strength, my passion for living. I look forward to getting older because I know I’ll maintain this the whole way and only get better, stronger and healthier. But, one of the most important things I’ve gotten is a Tribe. When I started I had no idea what that meant. I was scared, I felt ashamed if I couldn’t do something right and got corrected, I didn’t know how to cheer others on or let others cheer me on. The most valuable thing I’ve gotten from my Tribe is realizing the importance of that support system of sticking it out for others while they are finishing and letting them do the same for me. Asking for some ideas on how to improve when you see someone who’s got the movement down you’re working on. Not striving to be better than anyone else, but acknowledging everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and working together to achieve balance. I’m a better person because I have a tribe of people who are dedicated to me and have my back and I’m dedicated to them and have their backs. It’s made me a better friend, a more reliable employee and I feel, a leader in my community. I can walk around with a smile on my face and muscles on my arms with my head held high and help lead the way should anyone ask….. “How did you get here?!” Thank you Undisputed Fitness! Heather, Nate, Tait, Lorenzo, Conrad and Megan! And thanks to people like Crystal and Jeff who are always supportive and inspiring!!!! Much love and gratitude!
I started Crossfit training at Undisputed Fitness in Santa Fe in January, 2012. At the time, I was 62 years old, had high blood pressure which I was treating with prescription medication, had arthritis in my left rotator cuff to the point I could not do a simple pushup because of the pain, and weighed 205 lbs. After several months of training, my blood pressure returned to normal and my doctor took me off the blood pressure medication, the pain associated with the arthritis in my left shoulder disappeared and I was able to do multiple pushups, and my weight dropped to 175 lbs. I also began following a Paleo diet at the recommendation of the Undisputed Fitness staff. Today, at age 64, I am fitter than I have ever been in my life, am far stronger than when I started and have become a true believer in Crossfit training. Training at Undisputed Fitness literally changed my life—I know it can change yours, too.
-Thomas A. Smart
When I was living in New York, I had an awful job, didn’t get enough sleep, ate General Tso’s chicken every day, drank heavily, and never went to the gym. I tried to start working out a few times, but never really got into it. I would go a few times but then get bored, and walking to the gym to sit on an exercise bike never seemed worth it.
When I moved to Santa Fe with my wife Caitlin, we decided to try something new, and joined CrossFit Santa Fe. I knew that I needed accountability to be successful working out, and so after our introductory lesson, we decided that we would go for the whole life challenge.
Really thinking about my diet and what I was eating, recording points, and working out every day gave me a clean break from my bad habits in New York. I feel better than I have in years, I’ve dropped 35 pounds and 3 notches on my belt. I’ve gotten stronger, up to 20kg on kettlebell swings from starting at 10kg.
I’d advise everyone to give it a try. You’ll learn something, or at the very least, next time you decide to eat something really decadent, you’ll enjoy it way more.
I started my first Whole Life Challenge at almost exactly the same time I started going to CrossFit. I needed a change. I was coming off of three years of law school, which I had loved but which had been terrible for my health. I lived on pizza, Diet Coke, and takeout. I spent the summer of 2012 moving from New York to Santa Fe and studying for the bar exam. That whole summer, I don’t think I got any exercise more strenuous than walking. I was fifty pounds overweight.My husband Brian and I went to our CrossFit introduction with Heather at the beginning of September. She suggested that if we really wanted to make a change in our lives, we should join the WLC, which was starting the next week.Committing to that kind of lifestyle change was intimidating. Before the WLC, even our “healthy” diet was full of grains, soy, and processed foods. Daily exercise was new to us, and we had never done anything as intense as CrossFit. I had recurring dreams that I had eaten something non-compliant without realizing it. I realized that on some level, I felt that my eating controlled me instead of the other way around. On the WLC, Brian and I had to think constantly about what we were going to eat and when we were going to exercise, but at the same time, food was losing its control over me.Over the course of eight weeks, I lost fifteen pounds and more than a full dress size. Paradoxically, as I lost weight, I stopped caring so much about the number on the scale. I no longer feel defined by my weight. I have a long way to go, but for the first time in years, I am proud of what my body can accomplish.Brian and I took first place at CrossFit Santa Fe in the men’s and women’s WLC respectively. It felt like such a validation of how far we had come and how hard we had pushed each other. It’s a big help to do the WLC with a partner: we exercised with each other every day, we cooked for each other (okay, mostly Brian cooked for me), and we kept each other honest. It helps that we are competitive with each other—at the final workout, I wanted Brian to improve as much as possible, but I also wanted to improve more than he did.He beat me by a handful of reps, the bum. It’s okay. I’ll get him during the next WLC.
I moved to Santa Fe June 2012 in search of my own “Eat Pray Love” year. I didn’t know exactly what all that was going to entail but I needed change and some self exploration as well as to detach a little bit from my family. Unfortunately, once I got here, everything I wanted to do was put on hold because I switched one family for another and found myself suffocating all over again. Summer was hard and I dreaded the fall. I was living under a gloomy cloud and only letting it get darker. Last winter I finally told myself that I had had enough and I needed to find an outlet. I remember having someone mention Crossfit to me and decided to YouTube it. I loved the videos. The drive and strength behind each person made me want to be more than what I was. Only that meant that I had to step completely out of the box I had built around me. I spent the next three months on the Undisputed website looking at all the pictures over and over again. I had sat in the parking lot once and still couldn’t work the nerve up to go in. But the next day, I FINALLY called and made an intro. That was 9 weeks ago.My first week in I heard about the challenge and asked myself, “Why not start out ‘Big’ and lay it all out?” Little did I know how ‘BIG’ this was going to be. I was hoping for physical changes but I was never prepared for the emotional journey or the relationships I would build. Saturday was beyond my wildest dreams and it’s a day that I will cherish forever and am so happy that I was able to share it with so many amazing people that I am just getting to know. I feel like I’m peeling away layers from someone who has been hidden deep inside me. And it’s exciting to do it around people who are having their own discoveries. Change comes from within and once we decide we are ready to take on the challenge, the possibilities are endless. I am finally done waiting and ready to move forward.
Sitting on the couch and watching this group of strong people with PVC pipes over their heads was my first introduction to CrossFit. I was in my last semester of undergrad, had a babysitting job for one of the kiddo’s in Jiu Jitsu, and I would try and study while I waited for him but couldn’t stop watching class! I had done the traditional one week of intense treadmill runs, and then go into a depressed state of lying on the couch and eating my weight in chocolate. I would always get back at the treadmill or pick up 5 pound weights, having no idea what I was or wasn’t doing right. I never had participated in sports, and my asthma always held me back from attempting to try. I have never been “fit”.I think I made enough awkward eye contact from the couch with Nate that he finally came over to me, because hell, the coaches are intimidating without a doubt. I signed up for my intro and was terrified. Being one-on-one helped me ease into this new idea of being strong, eating Paleo (I always ate somewhat clean, I thought, other than the chocolate) and trying new movements for my body. This was the start of what I thought was going to be a hobby- not a new life.My first class was December 20th. I went to a full 5:30 and was so overwhelmed with people running around me grabbing hard plates and bars and I just stood there. I believe the end of the WOD was to find your heaviest deadlift and I just stared at this 35 pound gigantic barbell at my feet. I didn’t try enough that day; I definitely didn’t produce one drop of sweat. I told myself the next time I went in I would do whatever it takes to kick my ass, and little did I know I would be introduced to the “wood chipper” .For my second class, I was thrown into a 100-90-80-70-60, etc. whirlwind of double-unders, ring dips, and burpees and discovered my first black out of the workout. I didn’t hear Heather mention there was a scaled version because my adrenaline was making my ears ring. I remember Dario and Dorsey yelling to keep trying but I know I didn’t finish. I went home and threw up. I slept until noon, and couldn’t walk for 3 days. After the holiday break and me contemplating what happened in that one hour, I went in as a new person. Determined that I would make it through an intense workout, and learn the proper form and techniques, I began to see myself conquer things I never thought I would or could do.It’s been an interesting 4 months. I have dropped 75 lbs. on my head, fallen on my ass when attempting snatches, bruised my knees and thighs from those deadlifts to a point when I wear shorts people stare like I was kicked around. I find myself on YouTube in the middle of the night watching athletes and WODs from all over the world and how they perfect what they do. I lose my voice while yelling at my members to keep going. I don’t even need my inhaler half the time anymore. When people tell me I look athletic, I still have to look behind me and make sure they are actually talking to me.Signing up for the Whole Life Challenge could not have come at a more perfect time. Without school I had been pacing for an activity, and this allowed me to have control over something in my life for once. I had just been through a bad break up, panicked of what I was doing in my life, but I knew that no other place made sense than at Undisputed. Towards the end of the 8 weeks, I found a ton of new recipes, fantastic insight and lifestyle adjustments that are now an everyday part of my routine.Growing throughout this challenge has made me look at my life in every other aspect as well. I felt I could stick with it for those 8 weeks, that I could try other new things and be independent. I signed up for Warrior Dash with a ton of kickass guys who can surely out run me. Saturday at the finals and potluck, I think I have cried more than I have in years. I came in 2nd place for ladies and stood in front of people who cheered, for me. While I am still feeling mentally exhausted from this experience, I feel so grateful for this journey in my life. I still don’t know where I am going to end up at the moment, but every smile and hug I have given or received from Santa Fe has been genuine and I can’t express any further of how much I love the people at this place and what they stand for. I will take what I have learned and keep it with me forever. Probably preach it, too. While life can twist and turn, in whatever circumstance it may be, just give 110% to whatever makes you happy. Live in the now. When it hurts, it’ll always be for the best. Shit gets scary, but you overcome and with support from a family like this, you are unstoppable.
The Helen Challenge at CrossFit Santa Fe, that I participated in, has forever changed me. It is the first time in my life that I finished last and felt like I had won. I have never had to dig so deep to discover what I am capable of. The truth is, it was only two days earlier that I completed my first unassisted kipping pull up and managed to do only 3 consecutively. The fact that 36 would be required in the challenge was frightning. After questioning myself numerous times, I decided using a band for assistance would be wise. However, after a few pushes and words of encouragement, from Heather and Tait, I put the band away and RX it would be. Not only did I believe this was impossible, but thought it was ridiculously insane. I placed myself in the last group knowing that if I could finish my time would be slow. As the start time arrived fear and anxiety oozed from my pores. It was a real test, both mentally and physically, to finish the challenge. I may have conquered it with a slow time, ripped hands, and completely drained, but none of that mattered. What I realized was stepping out of my comfort zone and achieving the unthinkable is where true victory lies and where great things are possible. I thought the Helen Challenge would be something I checked off my to do list for the day, instead those 21 minutes and 48 seconds will stick with me for a lifetime. I wonder what else I could accomplish in my life with that same courage? Thank you Undisputed for continuing to be a positive influence!!!!!!
I just passed my 1 year anniversary at Undisputed and had my annual check-up at the doctor yesterday. I’ve lost 18lbs since last spring. Thanks everyone for your help and support!
It’s my 1 year anniversary doing Crossfit. This is perfect timing for me to reflect. I’m about to get publicly Really real. Read on if you like.
Its hard to explain what a crazy adventure this is for me, discovering this athlete hidden inside. I think back on the first day walking into UNDISPUTED FITNESS . Fearful and excited. Nate Harris was so encouraging in those first few weeks. I needed it. I would go to my car after class and cry – in amazement. Gratitude. Pain. But, I always wanted more. And every class I get stronger. Over the last year I have doubled, and in some cases tripled my personal records weight lifting. Gone from a 2″box jump to 16″. I can run a mile! I do double unders now. And squats- forget about it – I’ve got it on lock. I join Crossfit challenges. I’m 50 inches smaller! And, I pushed through those last few pounds to meet my 100 pound goal while building mad muscle.
But, to only talk about the physical aspects would neglect a substantial part of my growth. I now know, no matter what it is I want I can have it. Its not perfect and I still struggle with confidence, but I know I am “willing to run when I can, walk if I have to, and crawl to finish if that’s what it takes.” I always could. I just didn’t believe. This is literal and figurative. I’m not sure I would have found this out any other way. The Helen challenge really cracked this open for me. Competition brings things out you didn’t know you had. I changed. I think I even smiled powering through those last few pull ups. Everyone cheering. And Heather McKearnan full body hugging me when I finished. The pride.
I have met the Most Amazing people. My Tribe. My family.
The gratitude for the support and encouragement I have received makes my heart burst. Jenna Rios patiently helping me finish a workout when I was sure I would barf. Or die. Or both. Dario Xavier Jimenez and Phil Madrid running with me in the parking lot after they were done to “team build”. The tearful hugs with Diana Hesch. The laughs. The countless conversations with Joseph Romero. The endless love and support from Tait Fletcher. Crow Rising helping me commemorate all my hard work. And ALL of the moments small and large with everyone I’ve encountered through Crossfit Santa Fe have made my heart grow and determination more resolute.
So today I say Thank You. Thank you to all the people in my life who have listened, supported, encouraged or cheered.
Who knows what this next year holds. I’m still All In, maybe more than ever.
So go get yours. Whatever it is.
I’m gonna keep getting mine!
I just wanted people to know what wonderful coaches and classmates I have and a kick ass place Undisputed Fitness is. I have lost 36 pounds since last January and the majority of it since going to the gym with dedication and consistency in August. I have more to go but have never been in a better position to meet my goals than now. I was afraid to play softball last year beacause I could barely run, well, all that has changed. I can’t wait to put on my cleats again and I will be even lighter, trimmer, faster and stronger. I just wanted to say thank you.